Taking the Time to Love-on Our Kids

Stuffed bears huggingLet me start off by saying that for those of you who don’t know, I have a two year old daughter. She is the youngest of four, and let me say it again “I have a two year old!” She is fabulous, and wonderful, and terrific, and adorable, and, oh yeah, did I mention she’s two?!

We all deal with the terrible two’s. Most moms are fortunate enough to have had children that truly were terrors in their twos. Occasionally I meet a mom who has really missed out on the whole “terrible” part, but the majority of us remember the joys all too well.

Having been especially short on patience lately, I traced back to the root of some of my frustrations: the neediness of a toddler. During this transition period of their young life, supposedly they are learning they are their “own person” with their own needs/wants.

In all honesty all children, regardless of their age, have their moments of “establishing themselves” or whatever else we want to label it. When it comes down to it, it really doesn’t matter why kids go through these needy/emotional times, as moms we need to know how to deal with it. We want to be godly, loving mothers, but sometimes it just feels overwhelming. What are we supposed to do?

Coffee! (I’m kidding, kind of.) Yes, it’s helpful to allow ourselves some simple pleasures, but that’s not really where I was going with this. Maybe the better question is what can we do to help our kiddos.

Love-on them. This term reminds me of loving-on a pet. We always say that we are loving-on the dogs when we are petting them. Somehow simply touching on our pets sends the right message. “I love you. I’m right here with you.” Why, then do we not spend time loving-on our children?

I know that when life gets hectic I tend to be on the move more. I may have time to chat with my kiddos while cooking, or listen to their cute jokes while scrubbing the bathroom, or even give them a big hug and kiss at bedtime, but it’s easy to get so caught up in whatever needs to be done that I have little time to sit and love-on them.

Kids don’t love sitting in your lap and reading a story just for the story, just like babies don’t love being held and nursed just for the nourishment. They want to be loved-on. It’s how God made us.

Maybe you have a child that isn’t a “toucher“, and doesn’t crave physical touch (I have one), but even they have moments when they are receptive to being loved-on. My “non-toucher” enjoys it when he doesn’t realize he’s being loved-on. Start a movie, read a book, or strike-up a good conversation and he soaks it up. Afterward, he’s more relaxed, happier, and more self-confident.

Next time your kids are having one of those toddler tantrum-like melt downs, try loving-on them. It may make all the difference…for both of you! Or better yet, love-on them before the storm begins!


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